Christian Churches as listed in the 1912 Nashville City Directory:
Belmont Avenue Church, Grand av n e cor 16th av.
Boscobel Street Church – r 401 S 17th
Carroll Street Church of Christ – 96 Carroll. Rev. Owen Henry, pastor; h 98 Carroll
Cherokee Park Church of Christ – 6113 California Av. No regular pastor.
Eastland Church, Gallatin rd s w cor Sharpe av.
Eleventh Street Christian Church Mission – 515 S 11th.
Foster Street Church – 210 Foster
Grandview Heights Church – w s Nolensville rd 2 s of Woodbine
Green Street Church – 146 Green. Elder J G Allen, pastor; h 132 Green
Highland Church of Christ – s s Powhattan av 2 w of 25th av S. No pastor.
Hinton’s Chapel – e s Orlando av 2 s of Charlotte rd.
Jo Johnston Avenue Church – 1703 Jo Johston av. No pastor.
Jones Avenue Church – w s Jones 1 s of Trinity
Joseph Avenue Church – Richardson s w cor Joseph av.
Lawrence Avenue Church – n s Lawrence av 2 w of Elliott av.
New Shops Church – 27th av s w cor Torbett av. No pastor.
North Spruce Street Church – 1217 8th av N.
Park Avenue Church – Park av s w cor 37th av.
Reid Avenue Church – Reid av s w cor Ridley av.
Scovel Street Church – 1717 Scovel. Elder Lytton Alley, pastor; h 1035 Monroe
Seventeenth Street Church – 1700 Fatherland. Elder H. M. Stansifer, pastor
Sixth Avenue Mission – 1801 6th av N. Elder T. B. Moody, pastor.
South College Street Church – 805 3d av S. Elder Cornelius A Moore, pastor; h 69 Carroll.
Tenth Street Church – 10th s e cor Russell. Elder E. G. Sewell, pastor; h 801 Boscobel.
Twelfth Avenue Church – 1816 12th av N.
Vine Street Church – 140 7th av N. Elder Carey E Morgan, pastor.
Warioto Settlement – Hume nr 8th av N.
West Nashville Church –Charlotte av n e cor 46th av.
Westwood Church – Hefferman s e cor 26th sv.
Woodland Street Church – 507 Woodland. Elder R. Lin Cave, pastor, h 230 Woodland.
Church of Christ – 1308 Jackson.
Lea Avenue Church – 709 Lea av. Rev Preston Taylor, pastor; h 449 4th av N.
Second Church – 706 Gay
Willow Street Church – South Hill s w cor Willow. Rev A J Lawrence, pastor; h w s Willow 1 s of South Hill
Nashville City Directory 1912. Nashville: Marshall-Bruce-Polk Company, 1912, p. 64.
The Nashville City Directory lists thirty-four “Christian” congregations; four of these are ‘colored,’ the remainder are white. The city directories are rather consistent in locating the meeting places of the churches if not by street address then by approximate location. For example, Second Christian Church is located at 706 Gay Street in the northern shadow of the state capital in the heart of the city. In the southern suburbs of the city, the Willow Street congregation evidently lacks a street address; it can be located, however, by looking at the southwest corner of the intersection of South Hill and Willow Streets. The Willow Street pastor’s residence is on the west side of Willow Street, one house south of the intersection. The abbreviations may be tedious, but they are helpful.
Eleven pastors are listed; nine are white and two ‘colored.’ Both African-American pastors are Reverend. While the conservative congregations shunned the use of “pastor” as a moniker for their regular located preachers or ministers, a number of these congregations rely on regular minister to do most, if not all, of the regular preaching. Of the eleven ‘pastors’ six preach for conservative churches; all of the congregations which are indicated as having “no regular pastor” are conservative.
Of the thirty-four congregations, Eastland, Seventeenth Street, Vine Street, Woodland Street, Lea Avenue and Second Christian Churches are clearly among the Disciples. Only Warioto Settlement (perhaps a mission?) and Westwood (perhaps a forerunner of Clay Street Christian Church?) are unknown to the extent that I do not know how to classify them…either as conservative or progressive. In 1912 three-fourths of the Stone-Campbell congregations in the city limits of Nashville, 28 of 34, are clearly among Churches of Christ: they are all acapella and provide neither financial nor moral support for missionary societies. However, just four congregations are listed as Churches of Christ: Carroll Street, Cherokee Park, Highland and Jackson Street Churches of Christ. None of these four would have been considered ‘progressives’ as generally understood within Restoration Movement circles in 1912. In fact, Jackson Street began as a conservative reaction to Rev. Preston Taylor and the Gay Street and Lea Avenue Christian Churches.
It appears, then, that unless otherwise noted the names of thirty congregations are XYZ Christian Church. The City Directory appears to follow this policy in the listings of congregations of other denominations: unless a particular congregation’s name differs from the parent group, it is to be understood as bearing the name of the parent group. For example, Jo Johnston Avenue Church may be understood as having as their full name Jo Johnston Avenue Christian Church (in fact, so reads the deed to the property; Jo Johnston was formerly known as Line street Christian Church, also on the deed).
That said, I have in my files a copy of a photograph of Twelfth Avenue, North, congregation’s meetinghouse. It has as its name on the sign by the front entrance: Twelfth Avenue Church of Christ. The photograph appears to date from ca. 1910. Clearly datable photographs of the church buildings or other documentary evidence will afford the best way to chronicle the changing nomenclature, and thereby the separation, on the ground, of the Stone-Campbell congregations in Nashville. Until such evidence comes to light, our conclusions about how and when the full implications and results of the division played itself out on the ground among the various congregations must remain tentative.
Mac is Special Collections Librarian and Archivist at Abilene Christian University.